Landfill Tax currently stands at £56 per tonne but is increasing at a rate of £8 per tonne per year making landfill an increasingly expensive option.
Landfill tax is a tax on the disposal of waste. Introduced in 1996, the Landfill Tax aims to encourage waste producers and collectors (including local councils) to produce less waste, recover more value from waste and to use more environmentally friendly methods of waste disposal.
By making landfill a more expensive option, it encourages local councils to use more innovative and sustainable forms of waste treatment.
The Landfill Tax currently stands £56 per tonne but is increasing at a rate of £8 per tonne per year making landfill an increasingly expensive option. The four Partner Boroughs currently spend millions of pounds every year in landfill taxes – a figure that will grow year on year unless a substantial decrease in the amount of waste being sent to landfill is achieved.
The Landfill Directive was adopted by the European Community in 1999 and came into force in England and Wales in 2002.
The Landfill Directive is designed to increase recycling and recovery and reduce potentially polluting emissions from landfill. It achieves this by setting demanding targets to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that is sent to landfill.
The targets set by the Landfill Directive for the UK as a whole are:
The main focus of the Waste Strategy for England (2007) is to reduce the amount of waste that is generated by households in the first place. It encourages local authorities to run waste awareness and minimisation campaigns to achieve this
The Waste Strategy for England also sets a household waste recycling and composting target of 50% by 2020 and supports the use of technologies that can recover energy from waste that cannot otherwise be recycled.
On a more local level, the South London Waste Partnership also has targets set by the Mayor of London’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy, which outlines how the Capital is going to play its part in meeting the nation-wide targets set by the Waste Strategy for England. This includes achieving a recycling and composting rate of 45% by 2015.
Unlike the Waste Strategy for England (which focuses only on household waste) the Mayor of London’s Municipal Waste Management Strategy encompasses all municipal waste including commercial and industrial waste that is collected by local authorities as well as waste from parks and grounds maintenance.
In the Strategy, the Mayor of London also calls for greater regional self-sufficiency, emphasising the need for more waste treatment and disposal facilities to be built in London.
The Mayor of London’s Strategy is currently being revised and updated. A draft of the Revised Strategy will be published for public consultation in the Summer of 2010. The final strategy will be published in late 2010/early 2011.
Visit www.london.gov.uk for details.